Authors: Elise AG Duwe
Publication Year: 2019
Journal: International Journal of Indigenous Health
Keywords: Chronic Pain; Illness Experience; Invisibility; Psychological Peace; Warrior Strength
Short Abstract: This paper will explore the difficult conversations and places of tension in the lived experience of chronic pain for urban American Indians from a larger study discerning relationships between chronic pain and colonization.
Abstract: This paper will explore the difficult conversations and places of tension in the lived experience of chronic pain for urban American Indians from a larger study discerning relationships between chronic pain and colonization. A concurrent transformative mixed methods design with in-depth interviews and a survey was used for the larger study. This paper concerns only the qualitative data. Forty self-identified American Indian adults living in Indiana, Chicago, and Tulsa who reported pain for greater than three months provided their chronic pain illness experiences for this paper. The paper uses three data-derived themes to encompass the broad reaching social, psychological, and cultural suffering inherent in coping with chronic pain: invisibility, psychological peace, and warrior strength. American Indian chronic pain sufferers in this study struggle with the multiplicative invisibility of both their chronic pain and their native identity. The invisibility leads to passing as white in environments hostile to people of color. It also results in family disconnection, loneliness, and isolation. In order to survive socially-mediated assaults, American Indian chronic pain sufferers keep their psyche at peace through stress management, cultural engagement, and non-negativity. They also call upon warrior strength—their understanding that American Indians as peoples have always survived bolsters their individual strength to push through the pain. They seek to function without further debility and to maintain their economic, spiritual, social, and physical wellness. Ultimately the participants in this research tell a profound, critical, and world-changing story that requires attention in overcoming barriers to full thriving with chronic pain.
Source: Link to Original Article.
Type of Resource: Peer-reviewed scientific article